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Masterchef Masterclass – write to me and escape

It’s Masterclass time again, where two celebrated chefs – who picked out a bunch of random ingredients about a week ago and were probably thinking about possible dishes during selection (not to mention the time they’ve had since) – will attempt to demonstrate to a group of amateurs what they should have cooked in their 30 minute time limit. Oh, this is wearying. If there are no cocktails by the end of this, I shall be very put out.

My absence-of-cocktail fears are assuaged as early as the previews, so there goes one potential source of dramatic tension. “If you like Pina Coladas, getting caught in the rain…”

At least Julie gets us off to a flying start by qualifying “unique” in her Poh-logy. And George says “undoubtably”. It’s going to be a good night for language purists.

What would of George done wiv the mystery box? Kingfish skewers and a raw salad of zucchini. It’s testimony to the food trends of the 90s that George says “raw” salad. It’s a pretty impressive offering, isn’t it, given that he’s had a week to figure it out. I think that if any contestant had dished that up, they’d have been slammed for being unoriginal. You know, kind of like Julie was that time for doing prawn skewers.

George asks Gary what he would of made and we get the promise of Pina Coladas. “If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain…”

If this stops making sense, it’s because I’m drinking every time George says “literally”.

Andre tastes the kingfish and thinks it will go nicely with a pina colada. “If you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape…”

Coming up – the Masterchef contestants get a b-i-g surprise. Of course, anybody who’s been paying attention will be completely underwhelmed by this development. We’ve known they’re going to Hong Kong for, like, literally, ever.

Justine’s now learning how to make pina coladas. “Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for – write to me and escape.”

I miss Geni and her assiduous note taking, although the absence of any note taking amongst the final five right now could just be a reflection of the fact that this masterclass is shit.

When Gary tells Justine her pina colada isn’t creamy enough and she responds that she wanted to be able to taste the Bacardi, he seems to go all snippy and quiet. Then he calls George over to adjudicate. (He sneaks in an extra dollop of rum just before the taste test.) George asks if there’s lime in there – was he paying attention? They made the bloody thing step by step. I want to see him doing the ingredients test. He doesn’t know whose he likes better – Gary’s is too boozy and Justine’s is… I dunno. “I’m not much into health food, I am into champagne…”

Lucas! We’ve missed you! We see him working with Manu at L’Etoile and he’s enjoying the experience. Manu seems impressed by his progress and Lucas thinks that learning all the technique will hold him in good stead in the competition. I hate to disappoint you, Lucas, but technique hasn’t really figured in the show so far. You might come back and blow them away with your mad skillz, but if Sam pops a piece of grilled fish on lumpy mash, you’ll be toast, brother.

I can’t believe they are using Geni’s saganaki dish as the basis for their remake! That dish got her in the bottom three and, subsequently, booted! Gary says it was wrecked by the tomatoes, but I think this proves that Sam’s crappy “fondant” and prawn and vegie soup should have been bottom three and Geni should therefore be there now, taking notes, and being the sexiest 54 year old on tele. Anyway, that’s all immaterial now, and maybe she’s flattered that Julie and Gary are making a prawns and feta dish inspired by her.

You know it’s a bland Masterchef when the most interesting food you see is in the Lite’n’Easy ad.

Gary’s cooking the prawns and he’s putting on some really strange voices and accents. He’s starting to “bung” things in – he’s “talkin’ rustic”, he’s “talkin’ straight-to-the-table, no fiddling, no faddling”. Somebody’s been studying his Jamie Oliver collection. God, he even does the “lovely” (but holds the jubbly). Ange, if you’re watching, I’m sure you’re rocking backwards and forwards by now with all of Gary’s endin’s. It’s causing blood to pour from my ears.

He calls his creation a “one pot saganaki”, but… how many pots does a saganaki usually take? Also, was there any fried cheese? Crumbling feta on a dish is not saganaki, Gary. Readers, please let me know if I dropped off and missed it when they fried some cheese.

Gary’s now giving us tips. “Use fresh prawns, use fresh tomatoes.” Oh dear, they’re not tips. I’d say they’re basic requirements.

Lets revisit pastry, shall we? Sam, who screwed up his wedding task, joins Gary for the lesson. We see a shot of the final product, which is a tart piled high with raspberries. It’s exactly the kind of thing I buy from the patisserie as a cheat’s dessert, and then make a hash of cutting up because raspberries piled that high? Fall in a big heap when the tart is portioned.

Sam doesn’t even possess rolling pin skills. Oh, god. Gary tells him to keep turning the pastry as he rolls. Sam turns the pastry, but then starts rolling from totally uncoordinated angles. This, even after Gary demonstrated the technique. I think he’s a bit touched. And if Sam had been paying attention at the wedding cake icing stage – i.e. before he nicked off for a kip – he would have already seen the rolling-the-pastry-on-the-pin technique. Show us something new, guys!

George piles punnet after punnet of raspberries onto the tart, and sprinkles it with icing sugar. Gary tries to cut it and – guess what? The raspberries fall in a heap. Sam goes in for a taste.

“What are you tasting?” FFS, George, it’s pastry, cream and raspberries! Not 18 bleedin’ ingredients.

And now… drum roll… the big reveal: Hong Kong! Okay, so it’s news to the contestants. They look very happy, but Chris tries to dial the energy back a bit by reminding us that it’s not going to be a holiday. No, but… Hong Kong!

  • Did George look like he was in a total funk every time the camera was off him?
  • I’m sick of these stupid post-recorded interviews that play as though they were recorded at the time.
  • Even though I knew they were going to Hong Kong, I’m still extremely jealous.

14 comments

1 Anonymous { 06.19.09 at 10:01 pm }

“You might come back and blow them away with your mad skillz, but if Sam pops a piece of grilled fish on lumpy mash, you’ll be toast, brother.”

Mwahaha. Brilliant. Ugh, Sam should have left weeks ago. Or, Andre could serve up vomit risotto and blood-drenched potatoes, and still avoid being in the bottom. Blah. Wish Poh or Brent or Tom were still there instead of those two.

Why did Ten even BOTHER to make the Hong Kong announcement suspenseful? Christ, I know this is the same channel that has the hamfisted subtle as a sledgehammer delivery of The Biggest Loser, so why did I expect anything less!

2 Anonymous { 06.19.09 at 10:23 pm }

Gary to Justine: “You can tell we’re chefs – uh, cook and chef”…” What a dick.

3 Jacqui { 06.19.09 at 10:25 pm }

Injera- Nope there was no fried cheese! Just crumbled feta. Re the Pina Colada- George said he would leave Gary to it so guess he had left the room & didn’t see him make it. Some how doubt that George didn’t know what Gary was going to use. Hong Kong- haven’t we know this for about a month now? Just like we all knew who the final 5 (Plus the other 2) would be. Funny how in the preview George looks scared and jumps back at some animal (fish/lobster?) in a bucket in HK! Can’t wait for it though.

4 Kyvyny { 06.19.09 at 10:56 pm }

Didn’t remember any cooking on the show. Was more concerned about what the trip to Hong Kong surprise would be. Right after the break, into the break, the weeks and days leading up to it, and through the show.

They could have done with 2 more punnets. Just in case they had any spill over the sides

5 lilie piliiee { 06.19.09 at 11:38 pm }

Saganaki gets its name from the pan it is traditionally cooked in, not from the cheese.

6 Wurstsemmel { 06.20.09 at 10:12 am }

Kudos to you Injera for sticking out the episode. So dreary, I made good use of the off button on the remote, knowing full well I could catch up here.

I stuck it out till George suggested his kingfish skewers – the same kind of idea that Julie got pulled up for. The hypocrisy from these chefs. Kind of made me want to make a George skewer.

I think I’d very much like to see new chefs next Masterchef.

7 j { 06.20.09 at 11:16 am }

yay! injera’s back. i love the posts by reality raver but injera’s just have that extra dollop of snark. delicious.
also, do justine and lucas get to go to hong kong? seems like no, instead they wll be unpaid labour in ‘top restaurants’.
just proves again that winning anything in masterchef is a curse.

8 Injera { 06.20.09 at 11:34 am }

See, I learned more from the comments than I learned from the episode! Thanks, lilie piliiee. Still, if I ordered saganaki from a menu and didn’t get fried cheese I’d be miffed…

Anon – maybe we can hope that in Hong Kong, Masterchef Aus will merge with yet another TV show and have a Masterchef Wipeout challenge. I’d quite like to see some of these people knocked into mud by padded thingies.

Oh, yeah, that “chef and cook” correction was lame.

Jacqui – missed the preview but can’t wait to see George being terrorised by small sea creatures.

Kvyny – I’m surprised they used so many raspberries given that they weren’t Campbells, or James Squire, or San Remo, or…

Wurstsemmel – George skewers with a raw Gary ceviche coming up. Maybe we can start a petition for Matt and Manu next season. We could advance the argument that Melbourne’s had it’s turn so now it’s time for Sydney to have a crack.

j – *blushes* The poisoned winners chalice persists, doesn’t it? I dunno, though – kitchen slave or trip to Hong Kong? Hmmm, how to choose…

9 Anonymous { 06.20.09 at 1:12 pm }

“Matt and Manu”

OMG yes please. Cravats and French cuddly bears on a full-time basis would improve this show immensely.

10 sourkraut { 06.20.09 at 2:05 pm }

HO b….y Hum

Kingfish fillets Be careful to cut along the dotted line, it must be just so, and if you dare to saw the fish instead of a single slice it will instantly turn into mush or worse. Comeoffit george. Anyway as a fisherman,catching Kingfish is fun, eating them is a waste of time. They would be about number twentynine on the fish taste parade, in fact we don’t even bother to use them for bait (shock horror) as the other fish wont bite on them anyway.
Raw zuchini salad Wow wow wow!!!!!!!!!!! george I,m definitely going to your restaurant for that little delight.
Take the lable off the Bacardi Gary, you should have used home made rum.
NUTS oh nuts. Wot happened to the nuts. They seem to have disappeared from the ingredients, yet on the episode where the others had to cook something with the crap ingredients Gary asked somene, “did you use any nuts” NUTS to you Gary!

I learn something scientific from the show every week, Didja know that the black shit in an “off” prawn is caused by the weather?????????????????? Tightarse, why didnt you chuck it out and use one of your FRESH prawns???????

Raspberries. A big raspberry to this section. You should be ashamed of yourselves as you could have fed Somalia for a week with that lot

OH now Gary has found some NEW herbs. I want to know where i can purchase:
BITTER parsley, and
BITTER feta?????????????????

Now how about the little monster handy-dandy jiffy-wiffy ACME food processor, very good for blood flavoured dough. instructions for use…….open lid, pry ingredients out with finger, allow drops of blood to mix well with dough, REPEAT say F@#K, remove remains of finger, throw processor on floor, light blue touch paper and stand well clear………….

Finally, an end to my cynical rantings….We’re going to hong kong WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! George”Are you excited?” Sign in backround out of camera view says yes holler jump up and down etc. But JUST TO MAKE SURE WE’RE EXCITED. AS A LAST WORD gEORGE SAYS Hey we’re goingtahongkongizznut grate?
Yep it sure duz grate. lotsa love all

11 sourkraut { 06.20.09 at 2:24 pm }

injera
love your recaps. keep it up

12 Injera { 06.20.09 at 4:52 pm }

sourkraut – love your comments! Sarah probably squirrelled the nuts away. She’s probably thinking of how she’ll provide for herself when the producers forget she exists.

Those raspberries were completely out of control.

13 Kyvyny { 06.20.09 at 8:25 pm }

Sounds like asking Sam what he’s tasting in the pastry is how pastry should be and not what he ended up cooking for the returns.

14 sourkraut { 06.21.09 at 2:54 pm }

Hi anonymous
But Gary…. witch wuns the cook and which ones the chef ?